Prophet’s Guidance Against Openly Committing Sin

by roshi on August 6, 2008

in Islam

1) Abdul-Aziz Ibn Abdullah reported that Ibraheem Ibn Sa’ad from Ibn Akhee Ibn Shihaab from Saalim Ibn Abdullah stated:
I heard Abu Hurairah (radiallahu ‘anhu) say: I heard Allah’s Messenger saying: All the sins of my followers will be forgiven except those of the Mujaahireen (those who commit a sin openly or disclose their sins to the people).

An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, then he comes in the morning and says, ‘O so and so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed yesterday,’ though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself.” [Al-Bukhari # 95 Vol. 8 The Book of Adab (Good Manners) or #2037 in Summarised Saheeh Al-Bukhari]

2) Musaddad reported that Abu ‘Awaanah said from Qataadah from Safwaan Ibn Muhriz “A man asked Ibn ‘Umar what he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) say about An-Najwaa (when a person speaks to himself or to someone else when no others can hear.

In this instance it refers to the moment on the Day of Resurrection when each person stand before Allah and his deeds are exposed). He said: One of you comes near to his Rabb until He covers him and asks:

‘Did you do such and such?’ He will reply: ‘Yes’. He (Allah) will then ask, ‘You did such-and-such?’ and he (the person) will reply, ‘Yes’ and he will admit it and then He (Allah) will say, ‘Verily I covered you in the world and I forgive you now’. [Al-Bukhari]
This writer recently had the privilege of hearing a Friday sermon where the Imaam mentioned that he was asked to address the issue of smoking and its ruling in Islam. This Imaam quickly ascertained that although smoking is a great and widespread evil, the greater issue was that of people openly sinning in public.

Due to this evil, other sins even greater than public smoking have become commonplace. He then went on to cite the above two hadith that we shall also use to highlight this clear and ever present evil.

We see in the first hadith that Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) informs us that forgiveness is to be had for the Muslims in general except in the instance of the one who openly announces his or her sin or bid’ah (religious innovation). This, after Allah had actually kept the sin concealed from the knowledge and vision of others.

Such an individual for one thing, demonstrates total ingratitude for Allah’s favour either because they have absolutely no consciousness that what they did was a sin, or they have become insensitive to it as an evil due to their committing many sins. This type of person has exposed themselves to having their sin remembered and mentioned by others.

For another thing, they may have been seeking to boast and show how “bold” they are and thus they in effect challenge Allah ta’aala and disrespect His right of obedience and the rights of the believers whose well being is affected.

Finally, it may also be that such a person is attempting to get others to mention their secret sins as well thus encouraging the spread of evil. Such people bring not only blame on themselves but are also deserving of punishment from Allah.
Keep in mind that this is regarding the one who merely announced what was done in secret that was previously known only to them and Allah. How about the one who openly commits the sin for all to see? How much more impact does openly committing sin have upon the weak of faith and understanding than the mere mention of a sin that may or may not have really taken place?
It is a common ritual for youth to brag about the wrongs they do that they can appear “cool” in the sight of schoolmates. The worse, or more daring the tale, the better. The same thing actually continues throughout life but on different levels. It may only grow worse as they get older because the things which were often merely fantasies of youth, became the realities of adulthood largely because they were made to seem so appealing to them when younger.

He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly. (Qur’an, 25:2)

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